In-line Airborne Particle Sensing Supports Faster Response to Contamination Excursions
Fine particles (less than 5 micrometers in diameter) do not affect most industrial processes, but they can have a disastrous impact on semiconductor manufacturing. From the earliest days, manufacturing facilities have deployed air filtering and recirculation to remove particles from the cleanroom, but particles may still be generated inside process tools, where they can cause defects and yield loss. Quickly identifying when and where airborne particles originate can be challenging, but it is critical to success. Conventional methods for monitoring and diagnosing contamination problems take considerable time to return results, and, because of their intermittent nature, they may not see contamination episodes until the damage is detected by downstream inspections. In-line particle sensing (IPS) provides continuous, real-time monitoring, shortening response times and potentially limiting damage to work-in-progress.
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